Primus Eta Lite ReviewApril 17, 2014
- Highly efficient
- Fast average boil
- Low profile burner great against wind
- Pot “coozie” and webbing handle very effective
- Integrated hanging kit is the best in the category, very simple
- Smallest pot volume in class
- Piezo igniter is ineffective in cold with low fuel pressure
- Included pot adaptors are not stable
The feature-rich Primus Eta Lite is the Best in Class stove for 1-liter all-in-one stove systems. It’s average boil times, wind resistance, super-simple integrated hanging kit and overall functionality combine with a sub-$100 price tag to make it a better buy than the MSR Reactor 1-Liter and Jetboil Flash.
An all-in-one compact backcountry stove and 0.75-liter pot with integrated heat exchanger, Piezo igniter and strainer lid that doubles as a small cup. It’s best use is for cooking simple meals, melting snow and boiling water.
Primus isn’t kidding around about their dedication to re-engineering the Eta line — even the packaging will earn your attention. The Eta Lite is compact, very well crafted and was clearly a long-term focus of company engineers. Laminar flow tech drives the low-profile burner design, a physics concept explaining how fluids, and gases flow in layers and best left explained in full by a degreed academic. The stove-pot attachment method is entirely new and because the super-simple (and I think market-changing) hanging kit is integrated, that’s one less accessory you need to buy.
The Primus Eta Lite averaged 2:23 seconds to boil two-cups of water 10 times. It is two seconds slower than the Reactor 1-Liter and significantly quicker than the Flash. Impressively, over the life span of a single 3.9 oz. can of MSR IsoPropane, it still averaged 2:30.
The Primus Eta Lite cranked 23 pots of water to a boil on a single can of IsoPropane. It must be noted that the smaller pot size contributes to this, but so do its wind-protection features.
The design of the base of Eta Lite’s pot and the burner being set below the sides of its stainless steel housing provide serious wind protection. In a steady breeze of around 10 mph and with gusts hitting 25 mph, the Eta Lite averaged 3:10 over five boils. It’s slower than the Reactor but significantly more efficient in wind than the Jetboil Flash.
The Primus Eta Lite warmed soups and prepared simple meals quickly and clean up wasn’t an issue. You can’t prepare much in it, but it’s fine for coffee, tea, melting some snow and individual portions of pasta or rice.
The Eta Lite is 14.8 oz. when packed with just its stove and included pot supports. The Reactor is 14.5 oz. and the Flash is 15.7 oz.